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Indian smartphone industry in Year 2016: Takeaway points

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New Delhi, December 16: With nearly 250 million unique smartphone users in the country and the figure set to reach the 280 million mark by the end of this year, the Indian smartphone industry — that surpassed the US to become the world’s second-largest market by users in 2016 — is set to break new records.

In a year of several firsts — the first modular smartphone G5 from South Korean giant LG and TCL 560 that came equipped with a unique eye-verification feature from Chinese electronics brand TCL Corporation to the delight of Indian users — leading smartphone makers clearly zeroed in on flagship devices packed with features never heard of.

South Korean smartphone maker Samsung was the first to launch its flagship smartphone Galaxy S7 and its curved-screen companion Galaxy S7 Edge in March at irresistible prices of Rs 48,900 and Rs 56,900, respectively.

The smartphones came with innovations in design, imaging, software functionality and connectivity with a host of other services. The company also introduced the first dual-pixel camera on Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge devices.

In March, tech giant Apple stunned its rivals by launching a cheaper, smaller yet powerful iPhone SE. Regarded as the cheapest iPhone model so far, the phone came in two variants — 16GB and 64GB.

Taiwan-based HTC also unveiled its flagship HTC 10 in May that competes with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge and iPhone 6s/6s Plus. It offered great multi-tasking abilities.

While the world of technology was going ga-ga over the future of modular smartphones, LG translated the concept into reality with the G5 — its flagship device that upped the ante for other vendors in the customised smartphone market.

The Rs 52,990 G5 features a “slide-out” battery design and dual rear cameras — the only device to feature dual primary cameras which work independent of each other.

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus in June launched its flagship all-rounder OnePlus 3, with 6GB RAM and a unique dash-charge feature that gives 60 per cent of battery life in flat 30 minutes.

July marked the entry of game-changer TCL 560 smartphone by TCL Corporation and is the only device sub-8K that comes with iris-based “EyeVerify” unlock feature.

Ending round-the-clock rumours, the Cupertino-giant Apple in September unveiled its much-anticipated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, along with next-generation ‘Apple Watch Series 2’.

iPhone 7 features breakthrough new camera systems, the best battery life ever in an iPhone and water and dust resistance. The device also has a dual-core processor with GPU that is up to two times faster.

Set to counter Apple’s iOS 10 and intelligent assistant Siri, Google came with Pixel in October –– the first phone made by Google with the Google Assistant built right in, bringing together the best of Google’s software and world-class hardware.

Other Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo also kept the momentum going by bringing high-end specifications in flagship devices. Domestic players such as Micromax and Karbonn also introduced their share of devices in the sub-10K category.

In 2016, users also witnessed many new devices with virtual reality (VR) capabilities, improved optics, powerful processors and longer battery back-up. Smartphones with heavy-duty front cameras (remember Vivo V5?) also arrived every now and then.

Another highlight of the year was “Make in India” announcements from smartphone makers like global internet technology conglomerate LeEco — a new entrant in India that created quite a ripple with its popular range of “Superphones” like Le 1s Eco, Le 2 and Le Max 2. Other such manufacturing announcements/commitments came from Micromax, Vivo India, Huawei and LG, among others.

Highlights of the Indian smartphone industry in 2016:

* India overtook the US to become the world’s second-largest smartphone market by users

* The country touched nearly 250 million unique smartphone users and the figure was set to reach the 280 million-mark by the end of the year

* Several smartphone makers announced they would start manufacturing in India

* The smartphone market in India crossed the 30 million unit shipments milestone for the first time ever in a quarter in third quarter of 2016.

By Anuj Sharma (IANS)

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OnePlus 6 beats its 5T’s one-day sales record in 10 minutes

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New Delhi, May 22: Smartphone maker OnePlus on Tuesday said it made a record sale of its newly-launched OnePlus 6 worth Rs 100 crore within first 10 minutes of its preview sale on Amazon India and its own online store–oneplus.in.

Highlighting the enthusiasm of users in the country, Vikas Agarwal, General Manager, OnePlus India, told IANS, “We sold last year’s flagship–OnePlus 5T worth Rs 100 crore in an entire day of sale whereas this time we did the same in just 10 minutes.”

The mirror black colour variant of OnePlus 6 saw a higher demand as compared to midnight black version of the device.

“OnePlus 6 is our best-ever smartphone and we knew that it will do well. The mirror black variant of OnePlus 6 was more in demand during the first sale,” Aggarwal added.

In an attempt to let OnePlus enthusiasts and prospective buyers have the opportunity to be among the first ones to experience and purchase its newly-launched OnePlus 6, the smartphone maker on Monday launched a pop-up sale in eight cities across the country.

Unlike previous years, the company extended the pop-up sale to two days that let users get a hands-on experience of their latest flagship on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The smartphone is priced starting at Rs 34,999 and is offered in three colour variants.

OnePlus launched its flagship OnePlus 6 in India, a first in the OnePlus’ line-up featuring an all-glass design last week.

The device will be available for open sales across all channels, starting May 22, in 6GB RAM+64GB storage and 8GB RAM+128GB options for Rs 34,999 and Rs 39,999, respectively.

Image result for one plus 6

The smartphone features 6.28-inch Full Optic AMOLED display with 19:9 aspect ratio for immersive viewing experience.

“With the OnePlus 6, we challenged ourselves to deliver an external design as smooth and elegant as the work we’ve done inside the device,” said OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau.

OnePlus 6 is powered by Qualcomm’s top-notch Snapdragon 845 chipset which improves performance by 30 per cent while being 10 per cent more power efficient.

OnePlus 6 has a dual-camera system with 16MP main camera, supported by a 20MP secondary camera.

With a f/1.7 aperture, the 16MP main camera features a 19 per cent larger sensor and OIS.

The device also marks the introduction of OnePlus’ “Slow-Motion” mode, which can capture high-definition video frame-by-frame with astonishing detail, ensuring users never miss the action.

The “OnePlus 6 x Marvel Avengers Limited Edition” device will be available with 8GB RAM and 256 GB storage for Rs 44,999 and will go on sale, starting May 29.

The limited-edition silk white device with 128GB of storage will be available for purchase on June 5 for Rs 39,999.

Users can avail cashback of Rs 2,000 while using SBI debit and credit card during the first week of launch, the company said earlier.

IANS

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OnePlus 6 with all-glass design now in India

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Mumbai, May 17: With the aim to make a dent in the premium smartphone market, Chinese player OnePlus on Thursday launched its flagship OnePlus 6 in India — a first in the OnePlus’ line-up featuring an all-glass design.

The device will be available for open sales across all channels, starting May 22 — in 6GB RAM + 64GB storage and 8GB RAM and 128GB options for Rs 34,999 and Rs 39,999, respectively.

The smartphone features 6.28-inch Full Optic AMOLED display with 19:9 aspect ratio for immersive viewing experience.

Image result for one plus 6

“With the OnePlus 6, we challenged ourselves to deliver an external design as smooth and elegant as the work we’ve done inside the device,” OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau, told reporters here.

OnePlus 6 is powered by Qualcomm’s top-notch Snapdragon 845 chipset which improves performance by 30 per cent while being 10 per cent more power efficient.

“The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with X20 LTE is designed with new architectures for AI, immersion, and blazing fast download speeds, allowing users to do even more with their mobile device”,” said Keith Kressin, Senior Vice President of Product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

“It was purpose-built for premium user experiences like immersive gaming, cinema-grade video capture and long-lasting battery life,” Kresain added.

Coupled with Adreno 630 GPU, which is 30 per cent faster than the previous generation, the OnePlus 6 is a powerhouse for everything — from streaming HD video to playing graphically intense games.

With up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, the device switches between multiple apps running at the same time without lag.

OnePlus 6 has dual-camera system with 16MP main camera, supported by a 20MP secondary camera.

With an f/1.7 aperture, the 16MP main camera features a19 percent larger sensor and OIS.

The device also marks the introduction of OnePlus’ “Slow-Motion” mode, which can capture high-definition video frame-by-frame with astonishing detail, ensuring users never miss the action.

The “OnePlus 6 x Marvel Avengers Limited Edition” device will be available with 8GB RAM and 256 GB storage for Rs 44,999 and will go on sale, starting May 29.

The limited-edition silk white device with 128GB of storage will be available for purchase on June 5 for Rs 39,999.

OnePlus 6 customers can avail cashback of Rs 2,000 while using SBI debit and credit card during the first week of launch, the company said.

The smartphone will be available for purchase on OnePlus.in, Amazon.in, OnePlus Experience store as well as all other OnePlus offline stores.

IANS

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Xiaomi tops smartphone market, Jio leads 4G handset segment in India: IDC

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New Delhi, May 14: While the smartphone market in India saw a healthy shipment of 30 million units in the first quarter of 2018, Xiaomi maintained its lead with 30.3 per cent market share, with Samsung at second place with 25.1 per cent share, the International Data Corporation (IDC) said on Monday.

The 4G feature phone market continued to grow at more than 50 per cent quarter-on-quarter, driven primarily by Reliance JioPhone which led the market with 38.4 per cent share.

The operator disrupted the market by introducing aggressively priced data plans at Rs 49 in the initial weeks of the quarter, acting as catalyst for growth.

According to the IDC’s “Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker”, the India smartphone market maintained a healthy year on year (yoy) growth of 11 per cent. However, the market remained almost flat compared to the previous fourth quarter of 2017.

Xiaomi increased its share of total online shipments from 32 per cent a year ago to 53 per cent in Q1.

“Xiaomi is in a unique position with a diversified channel approach and strong demand in each of the channels. Huawei’s Honor 9 Lite also made into the top 5 online models in its debut quarter 2018Q1,” said Jaipal Singh, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India.

Xiaomi maintained its lead in the market for second quarter in a row with further expansion in the offline channel and popularity of its models such as Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5.

Commenting on local manufacturing of smartphones, Upasana Joshi, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India, said: “The recent import duty hike on PCBs, camera modules and connectors by the Indian government, definitely puts cost pressure on the smartphone companies, till such time that they set up lines for CKD (Complete Knock Down) type of manufacturing to reduce this impact.”

“This will increase the challenges for smaller companies even more,” she added.

Samsung remained at the second spot with flat annual growth in Q1.

“Samsung’s two-pronged approach with the focus on low-to-mid range J series and the latest flagships Galaxy S9 series along with Galaxy S8 series and Note 8 in the premium segment drove shipments for the vendor,” said the IDC.

OPPO climbed to third spot from fifth in the last quarter. Vivo slipped to fourth position as its shipments declined by 29.4 per cent year-over-year in Q1.

However, the brand grew by 2.1 per cent as compared to the previous quarter. The Y series of Vivo continued to generate close to 70 per cent demand.

China-based Transsion Group made its debut in the top 5 with more than threefold annual growth in shipments in Q1. The China-based group has four brands under its umbrella – itel, Tecno, Infinix and Spice.

“The government push for high-end electronics local manufacturing and accompanying duty hike puts most of the mobile phone vendors under further margin pressure. However, a vendor looking to establish itself for long term will have to show commitment by setting up the SMT units here,” Singh added.

IANS

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